Growing up my siblings and I LOVED souvenirs. You know, all of the tacky cups, shirts, magnets, etc. I still have a keepsake box of some of my favorite souvenirs from trips I took as a kid. The box is filled with post-cards, pressed pennies, t-shirts and anything with my name on it. It was so fun to pick out something to help me remember a trip.
I still love the idea of trip souvenirs, but as an adult I don’t want the clutter and tackiness of typical souvenirs filling up my home. Travel is one of my favorite things so I truly do love having a special piece of each trip in our home. Over the past few years I have tried to find ways to bring a memory home without compromising the decor or organization of our home.
The most obvious way to bring travel memories into your home is travel photos. I love capturing photos on the trips we take to look back on. While I don’t love having pictures of myself throughout our house we have a few of our favorite scenery/landscape shots hanging in our living room (from Connecticut, Muir Woods & Napa). I’m also in the process of creating an photo book for each trip we have taken.
Whenever we travel I constantly try to take note of the way certain places and settings make me feel. For example, one of our first mornings in Napa for our honeymoon I put on the comfiest robe and sat on our deck drinking my coffee. It was a feeling I will never forget. I was obsessed with this robe (truly the most comfortable robe EVER! If you asked Andrew he would jokingly say that was my trip highlight) so I ordered one of the robes to bring home with me. Now in the mornings I can wear my robe and enjoy a cup of coffee and reflect on that perfect morning in Napa.
I also love getting design ideas while traveling. Certain places we visit have had aesthetics that I absolutely love and create a special feeling. It is fun to gather inspiration and try to recreate that in our own home.
On so many of our trips we have tried different drinks, foods and treats that we end up loving. Its always fun to bring a few of those favorites home with you or find a way to order them later on. This could be anything from a local coffee brew, treats from a bakery, or a regional confectioner. While it may not be the same as experiencing those flavors for the first time, its fun to bring those treats into our home on occasion. A few favorites that I will order throughout the year are Stumptown Coffee (Napa) , Cartwright & Butler Toffees (London), La Foret Salted Caramels (Napa), & Jacques Torres Hot Cocoa (NYC).
ExperiencesWhen we travel we plan a lot of our trip around dining experiences. From cooking together early on in our relationship to trying new cuisines together food has held a special place in our relationship so it is definitely a love language for us and something we love experiencing together. When we go to a new restaurant that we end up loving we always look to see if he restaurant has a cookbook for purchase. Its a fun way to remember the meal and get the chance to re-create the dining experience we had by trying to re-create that meal or a favorite dish. These have become some of our favorite cookbooks that we use regularly from places like Bouchon (Napa), Nopalito (San Francisco), Balthazar (NYC). We even have cookbooks from our trips to Meadowood, The French Laundry, Alinea & Eleven Madison Park. It is fun to try recreating dishes we had or just looking through to reminisce about our favorites.
- Menus: Whenever we dine at a nice restaurant they often provide a keepsake menu. We have collected several so far and eventually plan to create a gallery wall of the menus in our dining room. We have quite a few saved from restaurants like The French Laundry, Meadowood, Per Se, Eleven Madison Park, Alinea, & Spiaggia. The menus are all beautiful and are a fun way to remember such wonderful experiences.
- Ornaments: I love collecting ornaments while we travel. Something simple to commemorate the trip. It is fun to pull out the ornaments each year and Christmas and reflect on the places we have been. A few favorites are a a golden sequoia leaf from Muir Woods and a wooden sailboat from Kennebunkport, ME.
- Maps: For our first anniversary my parents gifted us a beautiful personalized world map that we can mark our travels on. Each time we visit somewhere new we put a pin in it. It has been fun to watch the map fill up over the past 3 years.
- Unique Clothing/Accessories/Housewares: This one is a little harder and one that I don’t do as often, but it is fun to pick up something unique and special from local boutiques while traveling. Obviously you can shop on any trip, but I love finding things from smaller shops that are a bit more one of a kind that you couldn’t pick up back home. A few of my personal favorites that I’ve collected are a beautiful quilt from a boutique in Napa, a tweed coat from Scotland, & scarves from small shops in Saugatuck, Kennebunkport, London & Washington Depot.